Green light for Yorkshire Water’s pioneering Esholt sustainable development

Bradford City Council has given the green light to Yorkshire Water and sister company Keyland Developments Ltd to transform redundant land around the Esholt wastewater treatment works in Bradford into one of the UK’s most innovative and pioneering sustainable industrial and residential developments.

Bradford City Council has agreed a resolution to grant planning permission relating to 180 acres of land at Esholt Wastewater Treatment Works where significant reductions in the operational footprint of the site in recent years has resulted in large areas of formerly operational land becoming redundant and unused.

The project team submitted a planning application in 2019, following extensive public consultation, to seek approval on a masterplan for an exceptional and nationally recognised development to repurpose the largely brownfield site and deliver a host of economic, social and environmental benefits through three broad categories of innovative employment, sustainable housing and community enhancements.

The new development will sit within the existing landscape and includes innovative ideas relating to Health & Wellbeing, Environment, Social Value, Long-Term Value, Sustainable Transport, Positive Resource Use and Water & Energy.

The innovative employment element will see the delivery of up to 100,000m2 of quality, sustainable work spaces to accommodate a mix of industry, with a particular focus on bio-tech businesses and other industries that can make the most of heat, power and water generated by the treatment works to maximise sustainabilty.

The sustainable housing element includes 150 homes, covering a wide spectrum from 1-bedroom maisonettes to 5 bedroom detached houses to allow for a diverse community. The sensitive use of local materials along with an innovative blend of technologies and intelligent energy use, landscaping, living with nature through visible water management and shared recreation spaces will result in a community that can sit alongside the nearby Esholt Village.

A key focus throughout the masterplanning of Esholt was showing how homes and businesses can reduce their water consumption through innovative design, in a move that Yorkshire Water hopes will influence how future developments can contribute to meeting the challenge of supplying a growing region with the water it needs, without impacting the environment. Esholt will showcase a number of community enhancements designed to create a new community connected to nature and with a real and visible relationship with water, with shared recreation spaces as well as sustainable transport routes to encourage walking and cycling through the site.

“We are passionately committed to bringing forward a development of excellence that the team, the locality and the wider region can be proud of and hold up as a beacon of positive living. We have an exciting year ahead of us ensuring that Esholt realises its full potential and we can’t wait to activate the plans.”

The Esholt team comprises of; Tate Harmer, a leading UK firm of architects on sustainability and natural environments, sustainability consultants 3 ADAPT and pioneering independent integrated planning and design consultancy Barton Willmore. The Esholt project team has a collective wealth of experience delivering exceptional projects across the UK including The Eden Project Cornwall, the Natural History Museum London, the Dyson Campus Malmesbury, City Fields Wakefield and Museum of Scouting Gillwell to name a few.